Continue: Be Specific Not Frustrated

Nadia Shanab | Uncategorized
31 Jan 2013


A student was in the middle of writing on a lined paper, but wasn’t really staying on the line. I told her: “Write on the line please!” Usually, this particular student is good at staying on the line, but for some reason she wasn’t doing it at this specific moment. Not to my surprise at all she innocently responded: “Which one?” while showing me all the lines on both sides of the paper. I said to myself: “Again, I have not been specific enough!” Of course, I showed her exactly where to contiue writing.


To avoid confusion I could have:

1- Pointed (with a pencil or a finger) to the line the student was supposed to continue writing on, even if it was quite obvious.

2- Marked the lines with little dots at the beginning of the lines she’s supposed to write on.

3- Written down the rule I wanted the student to follow, for example: “Write on the first line of the page then skip one line.”

4- Kept a sample of a model writing assignment.

For younger children I usually highlight the lines they are supposed to write on.

I am sure that there must be other techniques and strategies to be used to make the instructions more specific.

I am learning everyday.

I cannot emphazise enough the importance of the use of visual teaching aids whenever it’s possible. Use pictures, drawings, written words…

To be continued…

nadia shanab

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply